Hello! I'm Dan Lyles with Lyles Insurance. In this video, we're going to cover how your driving record affects your auto insurance rates.
With most auto insurance companies, your motor vehicle report plays a big factor in how they calculate your auto insurance rate. And many drivers have errors on their record, and they don't realize it. We're going to show you what to do if you have any of these. And also, just knowing how companies handle accidents and violations gives you a better idea, and will prepare you in case you have any bumps down the road.
It's very important to understand that auto insurance companies weigh violations very differently from one company to a next. And the point system that your state license bureau uses has nothing to do with how an auto insurance company looks at violations. They're free to weigh each violation in terms of severity however they please. And sometimes, you'll see some things that are little head scratching. For example, some companies won't insure a driver with a DUI. While other companies, they love DUI customers and weigh speeding tickets even worse than a DUI. And then other violations for example, seat belts. Some companies count seat belt tickets, some don't. And that's why it's important for drivers who don't have a clean record to shop around with multiple companies to get their best rate.
How far back are violations counted? And again, companies handle it different ways. Some companies only go back three years for violations and accidents. Some go back five years. And then there's some that are in between. They'll go back five years for accidents and only three years for violations. And there are other companies that will go back five years, but lessen the severity of the violation after three years pass. So again, that's another reason why you need to shop around with multiple companies if you have any violations approaching a three year anniversary.
Now want to go over a couple of the common errors I was speaking of. First one is At-fault versus Not-at-fault accidents. First, to give you a little background info: Some companies do not count Not-at-fault accidents on your driving record (meaning it won't cost you extra premium). But many companies do. And where I'm seeing a lot of errors, where some drivers have Not-at-fault accidents. But when I go and pull their motor vehicle report up, it’s incorrectly reported as an At-fault accident. Many people aren't even aware of it. So if this happens to you what you need to do is just get all the documentation you can, and hang on to it. Save it for at least five years (anything like a traffic crash report, police report, or payment from the other driver’s insurance company…. anything that shows you're not at fault in the accident). Make sure you save it.
Here's another scenario that can cause errors on your driving record: Violations that happen around midnight. Just so you know: If you ever get charged for multiple violations from the same incident or occurrence, the auto insurance companies… most, not all, but most companies will only charge you for the most severe violation. So, like if you cause an accident and get a failure to control ticket, you're only going to get dinged for an At-fault accident. They won't count the failure to control. But where problems happen are when these violations happen around midnight. One might get processed before midnight and the other might get processed after. Well, that makes it look like it happened on two consecutive days, because of the date. So again, if that happened to you save your documentation…. You might need it.
How should you dispute an inaccurate violation? Well, if it's something very obvious, you can always go to your state BMV or DMV. But I know they can be difficult to work with. What I've always suggested, is just handle it with your auto insurance company. And there's two ways that you can dispute a violation, depending on which way the company does it. Some will allow you to dispute a violation before you buy the policy. And then you have a few days to provide documentation showing that there was an error on your driving record. And other times, they might require you to go ahead and pay for the error up front, and then credit you back once you send in supporting documents.
I hope this video has given you a better understanding of how companies handle violations. If you'd like to get a quote, and you live in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia, I'll be happy to run a quote for you personally. I've provided a link to my website where you can get a quote online. And I've also listed my phone number if you'd rather quote by phone. I have companies that go easy on drivers with dings on their driving record. And they also go easy on SR22’s, SR50’s and FR44’s, if you need a state filing. Thank you for watching, and have a great day!
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..